I lost a day this week. I thought it was only Tuesday so this is a bit late. Small Footprints decided to focus on Plastic bags. Before I share this week’s challenge, I did follow up in searching for butcher paper to replace the food saver bags in my freezer. I found them, but I didn’t purchase them.
What is the point of buying paper, of which has its own environmental impact if it’s going to be coated with plastic? I don’t know what the answer is. I could look at the problem as one of finding something reusable. That wouldn’t be real hard, a bit pricey, but not hard. I could use glass mason jars like Small Footprints does or take her suggestion and buy stainless steel containers that might stack better. But if I am trying to keep my footprint as low as possible it takes resources to make those stainless steel containers. Glass then would be the best option I can think of.
Now that I have shared my latest disappointment, how about a challenge that ties in nicely with Plastic-free July?
This week’s challenge is all about the plastic bag.
Plastic bag use has been called a pandemic (an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region). These ubiquitous bags cause a lot of problems for the environment. Here are some facts:
- Approximately two million single-use plastic bags are used, worldwide, each minute.
- According to the BBC, only 1 in 200 plastic bags in the UK are recycled.
- A 2011 article in Rolling Stone stated that American shoppers use more than 500 plastic bags, per consumer, per year.
- There are about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of ocean.
- Plastic bags remain toxic even after they break down.
- It costs 2-5 cents to manufacture one bag. It costs 17 cents to clean them up.
Let’s commit, or recommit, to banning them from our lives!
I had to stop in the grocery store Monday to price something for my son, at the checkout I heard a conversation that dampened my mood. The woman in front of me had just purchased a single item, a loaf of bread. This was a commercial brand which meant it was in a plastic bag with a metal twist tie. The cashier asked if she wanted a [plastic] bag to put the bread in. The customer thought about it then said no. Nice right? But then she added that she thought she had enough at home to make it through the week. She then turned the conversation to how she can’t imagine what she would do with out them because they are so useful. Ugh I wanted to say something but decided I should probably keep my mouth closed. This woman wasn’t going to be swayed by anything I had to say.
This week’s challenge is:
This week, ban plastic bags. Carry a reusable bag, use a box, or simply carry items loose. Say NO to plastic bags and don’t allow them into your home.
If your home is plastic bag free, please refuse to buy anything which is packaged in plastic (I know … it’s truly a challenge … but I have confidence in you).
Look around your home for plastic items and then, research non-plastic alternatives. If you are ready to replace the item, please do. If not, make plans to do so when the time comes.
I’ve got carrying my bag down, I never leave home without at least one.
How am I doing with this year’s Plastic-free July? Not nearly as well as I would like. This month I had to purchase a few things which I could only get if I bought them wrapped in plastic. The first was a bag of organic apples. Being without one of my favorite fruits is hard, so I broke down and bought one bag. At our store there is no option either a bag of apples or no apples.
Then came a request from my daughter-in-law. She’s having a baby shower Sunday and asked me to make onesies from her Pinterest boards for her husband. No problem. The onesies I finally found were encased in cardboard but had four pieces of tape. Where I ran into a problem was in having to buy fabric paint. In the end I settled for fabric paint markers. I went with the smallest package I could find but I still came home with five plastic markers and a plastic sleeve.
The little ones asked me to get tortillas so they can have sandwiches when they are here. Guess what, the only options available come in plastic. I know you probably know how to make your own. I do too, but I don’t have a stove so that option isn’t open for me.
It’s now 17 days in and my plastic total that came into my house was:
- 5 markers and a plastic sleeve
- a tortilla wrapper
- bag from apples
- 4 pieces of tape.
As for looking to replace things around my home, the food saver is tops on my list but that will take a bit of time. Mason jars are rare here second-hand, they are grabbed up as soon as they arrive which leaves me with buying them new.
There really isn’t much plastic left in my home. What I can think of would be:
- plastic cup for washing my hair (not putting glass in the shower)
- plastic spray bottle for vinegar in the shower, same situation as the cup.
- My juicer has a lot of plastic on it, I’m considering selling it as I make more smoothies than juices
- My laptop and cell phone of course are plastic, are there alternatives to plastic cases?
- The two shutters I found and have on either side of my window
- A few pens and markers
- Lots of pill bottles I save for quarters (laundry) and to save seeds in.
- Some of the children’s toys are plastic, it’s hard to get around that.
- My clock radio which I pull out to listen to music has a plastic case
- With music I still have quite a few CDs, plastic
- My deodorant comes in plastic.
- My vacuüm is made from plastic
- My broom and dustpan which I’ve had for decades have plastic on them
There are a few other thing in my sewing supplies which are plastic such as my rotary cutter and a few of the quilting tools. I’m sure I am leaving something out, but it’s getting better.